TSA wants to double security fees for round trip flights

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by JEREMY DESEL

KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 9:34 AM

HOUSTON—A Senate committee has approved a plan to double the fees charged to airline flyers to help fund the Transportation Security Administration.

Every flyer pays a $2.50 federal fee each way to help fund the TSA.

The proposal that just passed out of a US Senate committee would make that $5 each way or $10 per round trip.

Most federal agencies are trying to avoid the budget axe but the Transportation Security Administration is looking for direct revenue.

"It is almost $40 in taxes and fees to get on the flight? Why so much?" said Wanda Cloyd a traveler coming into Houston from New Jersey. "I think that is crazy."

The fee could be charged to airlines but any cost to the airlines eventually gets passed on to the customer.

"They want you to pay for something to eat, for a cart to carry your bag and then if you want to put a bag on the plane it is $25 more, " says air traveler Belinda Owens.

Those baggage fees are a big part of the problem, according to the TSA. The airlines checked bag fees have changed the security dynamic.

Now so many more people are carrying on their luggage, the agency says it is costing at least an additional $260 million a year to screen passengers and that luggage on the way to the gate.

It is not that flyers seem unwilling to pay for security.

"I would pay it if I thought it was truly necessary. The problem is there is a whole lot of irresponsibility," says flyer John Huff.

The TSA said it hasn’t hiked the fee in 10 years.

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